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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Saturday - January 05, 2008

From: austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Use of surfactants with herbicide for water
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I read the article on frogs and the use of Rodeo. Your answer was correct, but to the best of my knowledge, Rodeo is approved for use near water only because it lacks a surfactant. When surfactant is added, the chemical has been altered and is no longer for use near water. Is this correct, also?

ANSWER:

In our previous answer we discussed the dangers of herbicides to amphibians because of the way they absorb their oxygen through the skin. On this Midwest Aqua Care website, instructions for the use of Rodeo Herbicide/Shore Klear for aquatic plants are to mix the product with water and a non-ionic surfactant. The article goes on to say "Water use restrictions: None." At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are specialists in plants native to North America, and are not chemists. It would appear that the manufacturer of this product is claiming there is no problem with using their herbicide on water with a non-ionic surfactant mixed in. Beyond that, we don't know the answer to your question.

 

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